Cyclone Olwyn is throwing destructive winds at the WA coast near Coral Bay

The severe tropical cyclone Olwyn is bearing down on the Pilbara coast in Western Australia’s north west.

The category three storm with gusts up to 195km/h is just south of the small town of Coral Bay, known as an access point to Ningaloo Reef.

The town of Exmouth, with about 1,200 people, is without power.

The iron ore Port of Dampier, one of the world’s largest bulk export ports, started to reopen later in the day. Inner and outer anchorages now open.

The Bureau of Meteorology expects Olwyn to weaken later today.

“Severe Tropical Cyclone Olwyn is impacting the west Gascoyne coast just south of Coral Bay,” said the Bureau of Meteorology. “The dense band of cloud around the eye of Olwyn is producing heavy rain and thunderstorm areas. Cloud is also streaming through the interior of Western Australia from Olwyn.”

Residents between Ningaloo and Denham, including Coral Bay and Carnarvon, have been warned of a potentially dangerous storm tide as the cyclone centre passes close by.

On the other side of Australia, Tropical Cyclone Nathan is off the north Queensland coast moving north, away from land.

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